A vast grassland region of central North America extending from the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba southward to Texas. Much of the area is used for cattle ranching and wheat farming.
Sloping region of valleys & plains in WC North America, extending from Tex. north to S Alberta, Canada, & stretching east from the base of the Rocky Mountains for c. 400 mi (644 km)
In the north and north-east are great plains of black soil, favourable to cotton-growing; in the south and west are successive ranges of low hills, with flat fertile valleys between them.
The red gum forests of the Murray valley and the pine forests bordering the Great Plains are important and valuable.
Below this the watershed of the Apennines is too near to the sea on that side to allow the formation of any large streams. Hence the rivers that flow in the opposite direction into the Adriatic and the Gulf of Taranto have much longer courses, though all partake of the character of mountain torrents, rushing down with great violence in winter and after storms, but dwindling in the summer into scanty streams, which hold a winding and sluggish course through the great plains of Apulia.
The rushes to gold-fields and diamond-fields are typical in- stances; the growth of towns on coal-fields and near other sources of power, and the rapid settlement of such rich agricultural districts as the wheat-lands of the American prairies and great plains are other examples.
A line of elevation is continued west of the Altai to the Ural Mountains, not rising to considerable altitudes; this divides the drainage of south-west Siberia from the great plains lying north-east of the Aral Sea.